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November 2.

All Souls; or the Commemoration of the Faithful departed. St. Victorinus Bp. A. D. 304. St. Marcian, A. D. 387. St. Vulgan, 8th Cent.

All Souls.

This day, also a festival in the almanacs, and the church of England calendar, is from the Romish church, which celebrates it with masses and ceremonies devised for the occasion. "Odilon, abbot of Cluny, in the 9th century, first enjoined [t]he ceremony of praying for the dead on this day in his own monastery; and the like practice was partially adopted by other religious houses until the year 998, when it was established as a general festival throughout the western churches. To mark the pre-eminent importance of this festival, if it happened on a Sunday it was not postponed to the Monday, as was the case with other such solemnities, but kept on the Saturday, in order that the church might the sooner aid the suffering souls, and, that the dead might have every benefit from the pious exertions of the living, the remembrance of this ordinance was kept up, by persons dressed in black, who went round the different towns, ringing a loud and dismal-toned bell at the corner of each street, every Sunday evening during the month; and calling upon the inhabitants to remember the deceased suffering the expiatory flames of purgatory, and to join in prayer for the repose of their souls."* [1]


Mr. John M'Creery, to whose press Mr. Roscoe committed his "History of Leo X.," and the subsequent productions of his pen, has marked this day by dating a beautiful poem on it, which all who desire to seize the "golden grains" of time will do well to learn and remember daily.



Mark the golden grains that pass
Brightly thro' this channell'd glass,
Measuring by their ceaseless fall
Heaven's most precious gift to all!
Busy, till its sand be done,
See the shining current run;
But, th' allotted numbers shed,
Another hour of life hath fled!
Its task perform'd, its travail past,
Like mortal man it rests at last!—
Yet let some hand invert its frame
And all its powers return the same,
Whilst any golden grains remain
'Twill work its little hour again.—
But who shall turn the glass for man,
When all his golden grains have ran?
Who shall collect his scatter'd sand,
Dispers'd by time's unsparing hand?—
Never can one grain be found,
Howe'er we anxious search around!

Then, daughters, since this truth is plain,
That Time once gone ne'er comes again,
Improv'd bid every moment pass—
See how the sand rolls down your glass.

Nov. 2. 1810.    J. M. C.

Mr. M'Creery first printed this little effusion of his just and vigorous mind on a small slip, one of which he gave at the time to the editor of the Every-Day Book, who if he has not like

——— the little busy bee
Improved each shining hour,

is not therefore less able to determine the value of those that are gone for ever; nor therefore less anxious to secure each that may fall to him; nor less qualified to enjoin on his youthful readers the importance of this truth, "that time once gone, ne'er comes again." He would bid them remember, in the conscience-burning words of one or our poets, that—

"Time is the stuff that life is made of."


Winter Cherry. Physalis.
Dedicated to St. Marcian.

Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:

1. Brady's Clavis Calendaria. [return]